Spring Lake man charged with human trafficking
Posted March 18, 2015
Updated March 19, 2015
Spring Lake, N.C. — A Spring Lake man is facing multiple charges after a woman said he confined her to his basement and forced her to have sex with strangers for money.
Robin Triovel Applewhite, 38, of the 300 block of Cedarwood Street, was charged Wednesday with human trafficking, second-degree kidnapping and sexual servitude, according to Spring Lake police.
Investigators said Applewhite picked up the woman in Fayetteville and took her back to his home, where he allegedly gave her illegal drugs and locked her in the basement along with two other women.
For several days, the woman was taken to hotels in Charlotte and Raleigh and forced to have sex for money, investigators said. She then was taken back to the home and locked in the basement.
Investigators said the woman managed to escape early Wednesday by prying open the basement door. She ran until she reached the main gate at Fort Bragg. Military police contacted Fayetteville police investigators, who turned the case over to Spring Lake detectives.
"If you were to visit the house, look at the house, the average person would probably not be aware that any of this was going on at the home," said Police Chief Troy McDuffie.
Applewhite was arrested at 10 a.m. Wednesday at his home, where detectives said they found two other women in their 20s living in the basement. A handgun also was seized from the home.
"The basement was set up just like a living quarters," McDuffie said. "There were two rooms inside of the basement and there was a general area where they watched television."
Applewhite was originally held at the Cumberland County Detention Center under a $250,000 secured bond, but his bond was increased to $1.5 million after his first court appearance on Thursday.
Police said additional charges are expected.